Cittadinanzattiva & Active Citizenship Network

Mission of Cittadinanzattiva

Cittadinanzattiva APS is an organization, founded in Italy in 1978, which promotes citizens' activism for the protection of rights, the care of common goods, the support for people in conditions of weakness in Italy and abroad.

Our mission refers to article 118, last paragraph of the Italian Constitution, proposed by us and implemented in the constitutional reform of 2001. Article 118 recognizes the autonomous initiative of citizens, individuals and associates, for carrying out activities of common interest and, based on the principle of subsidiarity, provides for the obligation of institutions to favor active citizens. 

Cittadinanzattiva, which has also been officially recognized in Italy as a consumer organization since 2000, is independent from any political affiliation, trade unions, private companies, and public institutions. 

Cittadinanzattiva considers citizens a fundamental resource for democracy, who play an active role in society and should have the opportunity to participate in everyday policy making.


To achieve its goals, Cittadinanzattiva engages in: 

  • The promotion of citizens' participation through:
    • The promotion of civic activism by involving and empowering citizens in order to enable them to defend their rights, participate in policymaking processes and take care of the common good.
    • The empowerment of citizens as policymakers by increasing the possibilities to represent the citizens' point of view in national and European policymaking processes, enlarging and qualifying the spaces of civic representation in front of public institutions and authorities.
    • The enhancement of the "civic environment" through the building of partnerships, the promotion of networking, agreements and common goals, advocacy. No one wins alone.
    • The production of civic information by influencing the public agenda, choosing priorities, comparing policy with data coming from the daily life of the citizens, which have been independently collected and analysed by citizens.
    • Communication through public campaigns, social media activities, handbooks and other printed supports, etc.


  • The protection of rights through:
    • The defense, advocacy, and promotion of the single citizen's rights. Over the years Cittadinanzattiva has developed and invested in the technology of citizen protection creating “PiT” (integrated project of citizen protection). Pit provides guidance, information and citizen protection for those citizens who have experienced inadequate services in the health service, otherpublic services and in the area of justice. Read more



Cittadinanzattiva is often called "the network of networks" as it operates through diverse networks organized around specific policy areas covering the following fields:


In particular, since December 2001, Cittadinanzattiva operates daily, not only at the local and national level in Italy, but also at the European level thanks to its EU branch called “Active Citizenship Network” (ACN). Active Citizenship Network is part of the Cittadinanzattiva APS legal entity and is one of the most widespread and flexible European networks which - in the recent years - has been able to involve in its initiatives hundreds of civic, patient and users organizations coming from European, extra-European, and international countries, as better described in the dedicated section of our website.

Its headquarters, located in Rome, coordinate and provide support to national and European activities, which are supported by our representative office to the EU located in Brussels. 

Since 2009, ACN is also active in Colombia with a Citizen Advisory Centre on Public Services and Health.


The strength and uniqueness of Active Citizenship Network

As the European interface of Cittadinanzattiva, Active Citizenship Network operates in coherence with Cittadinanzattiva’s mission. It is therefore deeply involved and active, both at the European level and across EU Member States, to increase the promotion of civic activism and participation in the political arena, and to better protect citizens’ rights, which are both the strength and the uniqueness of ACN.

In particular, we act to:

  • encourage the active participation of citizens in European policymaking to promote the construction of an “European active citizenship”, through the citizens’ powers and responsibilities in public policies. This includes:
    • recognizing the primary role of citizens and civic organizations in the care of the common goods;
    • supporting citizens’ participation in policy making at the local, national and EU level;
    • involving them in the defense of their fundamental rights as citizens, patients, consumers, passengers, users, savers, etc.
  • promote abroad all the successful experiences achieved by Cittadinanzattiva in Italy.


In order to promote several political activities (please visit the dedicated webpage), Active Citizenship Network, over the years, has carried out dozens of projects and campaigns, as better described in the dedicated section, together with partners from EU and extra EU countries, working as a leader or partner in a consortium (click here for more details), or consultant as an advisor (i.e. member of a jury, external supporter of EU-funded projects) in different fields of actions, starting from patients’ rights & health-related issues, sustainability, consumer policies. To know more, visit the page dedicated to our priorities.


The value of partnerships

As described in the dedicated section, since its inception, Active Citizenship Network has strengthened partnerships at the European, extra-European and international level in order to collaborate in common projects, political initiatives and actions, all founded on strong cooperation ties. Moreover, Active Citizenship Network has over time become an official partner of institutional and non-institutional working groups at the European level (more details here).

To sum up, Active Citizenship Network operates in several different fields and is an ideal actor for those public and private subjects that consider relevant the involvement of citizens in their activities.

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